Human Ecology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 101–111

Institutional Adaptation and Community-Based Conservation of Natural Resources: The Cases of the Tao and Atayal in Taiwan


DOI: 10.1007/s10745-009-9292-8

Cite this article as:
Tang, CP. & Tang, SY. Hum Ecol (2010) 38: 101. doi:10.1007/s10745-009-9292-8


Traditional institutional rules, values, and beliefs help support conservation regimes of natural resources in many indigenous communities. Such traditional conservation regimes may break down as a result of influences from the outside world. This paper examines two cases in Taiwan—the Tao communities on Orchid Island and the Atayal community in Smangus. The former illustrates a process in which traditional institutions supporting local conservation broke down as a result of external influences, leading to the loss of the local community’s ability to govern the use of a coastal fishery. The latter, in contrast, demonstrates how local people are able to adapt their traditional institutions to meet the challenges from the outside world while preserving a local forest. The paper concludes by examining factors that affect institutional adaptation in community-based conservation of natural resources.


Taiwan Institutional change Community-based conservation Forests Fisheries 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National ChengChi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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